The Future of Housing Recovery?

According to a pri.org article, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dolly, a group of NGOs, architects and colonia residents in Texas started to rethink housing recovery. The result? RAPIDO.

“It takes a week to build and place the core in a family’s lot,” says Elaine Morales-Diaz, a design associate with non-profit buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.

The following excerpt explains the design further:

The “core” is a one-bedroom house – but unlike the houses the federal government provides, RAPIDO houses are expandable. As soon as emergency shelter is in place, RAPIDO can start adding rooms to accommodate the larger families that live in the colonias. And instead of being trucked in from out of state, these houses can be put together by any local framer, which helps make them cheaper — a lot cheaper. A permanent three-bedroom RAPIDO house can be built for $69,000, almost half the price of a federal replacement house.

For that price, I imagined something squat and functional — something kind of depressing. But walking around Bent Tree and surrounding colonias, where three families received RAPIDO homes, I thought, “This is disaster relief housing? These houses are cool.”

“Our main purpose is that it’s not a RAPIDO home,” Morales-Diaz says. “It’s the Parahas family home, it’s the Avalos family home. It’s their house and it’s responding to their choice.”

RAPIDO clients get a lot of choice. They’re asked what kind of roof they want, what type of porch and if they like the materials being used. “This process helps the family to realize that this is real, that they will get a house,” Morales-Diaz says.


For the original article, click here: http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-04-10/custom-three-bedroom-house-69000-welcome-new-model-disaster-relief

For more information, click here: http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2014/09/19/scourge-of-fema-trailers-wins-macarthur-genius-grant/